Instead of allowing lawyers to decide the fate of the 2004 presidential election, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry has conceded to the inevitable win of President George Bush's reelection and allowed the people's voice be heard.
Rural states overwhelmingly supported Bush, with Wisconsin and Iowa still too close too call. The latest statistics put Ohio and Nevada's electoral votes in the Bush category, bringing him to 274 electoral votes, four over the needed 270.
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) congratulated President Bush on his reelection after a hotly contested presidential race. The organization sent a congratulatory telegram to the president today wishing him success during his second term and say the organization is looking forward to securing new economic opportunities for rural America.
NCGA urged the president to move quickly on stalled policy initiatives that need congressional action. In addition to passage of a comprehensive energy bill including the Renewable Fuels Standard, NCGA reminded the president of the need for lock and dam upgrades on the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, retention of farm bill programs and the need to expand export opportunities for U.S. corn.
NCGA President Leon Corzine concludes, "We are hopeful the next four years will see an end to the bitter and unproductive partisanship that has dominated the legislative process and thwarted progress on issues important to corn growers and our nation."
Time to move forward
"The election results provide continuity and an opportunity for progress on key agricultural issues, such as energy policy, death tax repeal, common sense regulations and environmental policy â€“ all matters that are near the top of Farm Bureauâ€™s priority list," says American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman.
Unfortunately, Americaâ€™s farmers and ranchers also lost a few loyal friends during this election cycle, Stallman points out with the loss of Rep. Charlie Stenholm, D-Texas and Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D. "But we will focus on building strong relationships with their successors. Farm Bureau will continue to reach out on a bipartisan basis to assemble a strong pro-agricultural agenda for the 109th Congress."
National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) President Jan Lyons believes cattlemen and their rural communities will benefit from the long-term results of this entire election. "President Bush has long supported policies that help rural communities and small businesses to prosper. He supports tax relief for small businesses, he supports personal property rights, and he has fostered an aggressive trade policy opening markets worldwide for our products," she says.
Lyons points out as the industry looks to the future the focus is on coming together. "The time has come for us to come together, to move forward, and continue to work for policies that will improve the profitability of Americaâ€™s ranchers and farmers," Lyons says.
Biotech bans fail in 3 California counties
Also notable is the fact that farmers and ranchers in three California counties -- Butte, Humboldt and San Luis Obispo â€“ succeeded in defeating anti-biotechnology referenda.
Except for Marin County the anti-GMO (genetically modified organisms) measures that would have prohibited the production of biotech crops and animals went down to defeat Nov. 2nd. The Marin Measure B scored 56.55% yes to 43.45% no. Each of the measures required a simple majority to pass and was a test to see if voters would follow Mendocino Countyâ€™s voters that ban GMOs in March.
In Butte County the California Farm Bureau Federation led the fight for flexibility in crop choices. Also, the Butte County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously before the election to oppose the measure. Butte County rejected the anti-GMO Measure D by a margin of 61% to 39%.
Voters in Humboldt County also rejected the GMO ban, which had already been declared unconstitutional before the election. The vote for Humboldtâ€™s Measure M was 64.90% no to 35.10% yes.